BOSTON (WHDH) - William Gross made history as Boston’s first Black police commissioner. Now he is calling it quits after 37 years on the force.
Gross announced that he would be stepping down from his post to retire on Thursday. 7NEWS sat down with Gross to ask him more about the decision.
“It’s time to take care of my family, myself. It’s just time,” Gross said.
Friday marked Gross’s last day on the force. 7NEWS had the chance to talk to him about his storied career.
Gross started his career as a cadet in 1983 and rose through the ranks. He described his colleagues on the force as family.
Gross made history when he was sworn in as commissioner by Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh a few years ago.
During his tenure, Gross had to deal with critics who said the force was not diverse enough and calls to reform the way they did business.
“Boston’s come along way. If you look at the diversity in the city: African-American commissioner, DA, transit chief, Suffolk county sheriff, U.S. marshal … but many many people advocated to put us in those positions, so it does show the progress,” Gross said.
Gross said he was not under a microscope but “an electron microscope” as the commissioner.
He does agree that there is still more to do when it comes to reforming Boston’s finest.
“People hear me say reform is for everyone – both sides need to talk,” Gross said. “We all need work but communities also need work.”
Despite calls for Gross to enter the race for mayor, he said he is not interested. He said his passion is for law enforcement, not politics.
“That’s saying a lot in the time of anti-police sentiment that they wanted me to a be a mayoral candidate,” Gross added.
Gross, known for his smile and fedora, said he’s already discussed the “h’s” with his successor — hats and hugs.
“He’s definitely not gonna wear any hats, he’ll give some hugs,” he joked.
Gross hopes he will be remembered as a promoter of kindness and advocate for those coming behind him.
“Look what happens when a village raises a child, and we have many, many leaders that are children now to help out; that’s the legacy, pay it forward,” Gross said.
(Copyright (c) 2020 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)